Creating a LiveCD Boot Disk Using Nero

I recently got my hands on my old school laptop from high school. Its an old IBM (Now Lenovo) R51 running XP. I spent a while, as I’m sure most of us do when we get an old beatup laptop thats not good for anything, about what the hell I was going to do with it. Yes, throwing it in front of a speeding metro train DID cross my mind. But I came up with a better idea. I decided to make it into a mixed-media station using a media player called Graboid, iTunes (which is beastly enough that it pretty much needs its own harddrive to have enough space, damn program), and a few other minor programs to help out.

I also decided to test out some other operating systems, such as BackTrack (great Auditing OS. Plenty of hax0r tools), OpenSuse (a clean, stable, easy to use Linux distro) and Fedora.  And so I began the great search for dual partitioning a computer to boot from multiple OS’s. And let me tell you, no where out there in the dark, vast world of the internet is there a good, easy to understand, leyman-friendly tutorial. So I’ll make one, using a Windows Vista machine to create a boot CD of Fedora.

The first part of this tutorial is to create the actual boot disk with the operating system you want. In my case, that would be the Fedora OS. For those of you who don’t have any experience with an operating system other than your safe, precious Windows, Fedora is an open source linux project. This means its like microsoft’s Windows, only more people help to build it, it’s free, and it’s always being improved. And it doesn’t suck.

Before we start, make sure you have a blank CD. The CD should be a CD-R, and in my experience a non-rewritable CD tends to work best, although I have been able to get a proper boot disk from both single-write CD’s and rewritable CD’s. It’s really up to you.

—– Creating the boot disk —–

1) The first step is easy. Go to this website and install the free Nero software. I find that Nero is the easiest to use. Of course, it costs like 80 dollars which is complete bullshit. So if you’re cheap like me, download the 30 day trial and make sure you make all of your boot disk’s in that time. I haven’t been able to look for a freeware alternative to Nero yet, but when I do get the time I’ll find one and let you all know.

2) Once you have Nero installed, you need to download the Fedora iso from this site. Make sure that when the download manager asks what program you want to open Fedora with, you choose “Nero Burning Rom”. This will make your creation process a hell of a lot easier. An iso file can be though of as a picture of a new operating system. If you boot it onto a cd, you can use the cd to view the picture of the new OS instead of your normal OS. It can also be installed on a machine to force the machine to always boot into the OS on the CD, regardless of if the CD is in the drive or not. It may sound confusing, but it’s really not. All you need to know is that your entire Fedora system is in that iso file.

3) Before you begin the burn, make sure you have the “determine max speed” checkbox UNMARKED. You want to burn any boot disk at the minimum speed possible, because this will create the best burn and will allow the disk to be read by almost any computer. A quickly burned disk will run into problems if you try to use it in another computer. The burn will take a while, but when it is done, you will have a bootable disk!

As you can see, creating a boot CD is extremely easy if you know how to do it. I feel that Nero makes creating a boot CD even easier. What you do once you have the boot disk is to put it into the CD drive of the computer you want a new operating system on and reboot the CD. The computer *should* boot into the new operating system (this may take a few minutes). If it doesn’t, you may have a problem. First, check your computer’s BIOS settings. When you first turn on your computer, it will usually tell you a button (such as F11) to press in order to enter settings. Push that button while the computer is booting to access the BIOS. You then need to check you’re comuters “boot order” and make sure that booting from a CD is first on your boot list. If it is, and your computer won’t boot from CD still, then it is possible that the installation of the CD didn’t go correctly. Turn your computer on and view the components of the CD. There should be multiple files on it, not a single .iso file. If there is only the single iso file, you need to make the CD again unfortunately.

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~ by sumdeos on June 28, 2009.

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